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Catastrophic, in a good way

The theater troupe known as Infernal Bridegroom Productions, which shut its doors several months ago due to financial strife, has been reborn under a new name.

You wouldn’t think anything “catastrophic” would prompt an eager welcome.

But when theater fans learn that Jason Nodler and Tamarie Cooper, two of Houston’s most intrepid pioneers of venturesome theater, will be back in the spring with a new company called the Catastrophic Theatre, many may be breaking out the champagne.

For more than a decade, Nodler and Cooper have been among our foremost makers of provocative theater — chiefly at Infernal Bridegroom Productions, the company they co-founded in 1993 and helped develop into Houston’s leading avant-garde theater.

When IBP ceased operations in July because of financial difficulties, it was one of the Houston cultural scene’s more disheartening turns of recent years.

Nodler said Tuesday that his new company’s programming “will be comprised exclusively of works that concern themselves with the strange condition of being a human animal living on the planet Earth — no other rules apply.”

Catastrophic Theatre will launch with a four-play festival to be produced in April-July at the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance, Discovery Green, DiverseWorks and Stages Repertory Theatre.

Dates and titles for that series will be announced in January. The company will announce a fall 2008 season later in the year.

Good to hear. IBP was a uniquely Houston asset. I’m very happy to hear that it will live on in this form.

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